@kreayshawn popped up on the grid last year, with a hit viral video Gucci Gucci, that quickly led to a record deal at Columbia Records. The adorkable Oakland rapper (sorta) and I met during her press runs in New York last summer and have been in touch ever since. Now she’s on the eve of releasing her debut solo album Somethin About Kreay, and there’s definitely more that meets to eye to the lovely oddball. We had a chance to chop it up about her experience being signed, her encounter with Azealia Banks, working with KiD CuDi and more.
This is your first album, on a major record label. What have you learned from your experience from being unsigned until now?
kreayshawn: I think I’ve learned how to like..talk to people better. I’ve learned everything…I think I learned like every valuable life lesson you can learn. Cause not only did I do all this stuff [between now and then], I also turned 23 this month. I was 21 when I signed my deal, I just did a lot of growing in the past year and a half. So…I think I’m smarter.
So, I noticed you and Azealia Banks reconciled the misunderstanding that you had. Care to tell how that happened? Who reached out to who first? or did you guys see each other in the streets and ran to each other and slowly hug in a field of dandelions?
kreayshawn: [laughs] Almost. We were doing shows in Japan actually (Springroove 2012). It was like 2ne1, Big Bang and this crazy festival type stuff. She was there and I would randomly see her, like at the train station and stuff..but we didn’t talk. I had a chance to see her perform and she got to see me and we eventually spoke. There wasn’t like a problem, just a misunderstanding and was easily fixed. That’s why it surprised people to see us cool ya know?
Would you ever want to form a group outside of White Girl Mob with other female artists?
kreayshawn: I think not like, necessarily a group because once you get in a group, literally all groups split apart at some point. Especially girl groups. I think we should just have like..you know how back in the day when there were girls from different labels, and different producers and every one coming together. You always see pictures of like Missy Elliott, Lil Kim, and Angie Martinez and Left Eye..and you’re like “damn that’s tight, I want to see more pictures like that”.
What do you think of Miley Cyrus hair cut?
kreayshawn: I think it’s cool. Me and my homie were talking about how she did this interview where she was being hella honest. I think for a while, maybe, she felt like she couldn’t be herself and get that haircut, ya know? Cause it’s so extreme. Definitely something she probably wanted to do for a while and now she feels comfortable to get it. Shit, I have short hair and it’s good to be able to just cut it all off sometime.
How did the collaboration with KiD CuDi come into play?
kreayshawn: The homie Jean Baptiste, the executive producer of my album, my homie. He’s like friends with him and he [Cudi] was just coming by the studio, hangin out and shit. Me and CuDi got into this conversation about punk [rock] and we were watching his short films and his acting stuff like that. It was cool, cause he was really different as an artist, kinda like I am, so we could create something crazy..like make a punk song. I don’t know, it just kinda happened..it wasn’t like a plan. I don’t know, maybe Jean secretly planned it but it was cool. We literally had the idea to make the song and then made it, like at the moment of the idea. Right and then there. He also made the the guitar riffs in it, it doesn’t have like a production beat, it’s really simple, just drums and guitar, which he played.
What inspired the artwork cover of your album? Did you draw it or was it a tattoo somewhere…?
kreayshawn: I had this huge idea, “I want half of it to be animated, eyeballs, aliens and to be animated”. This dude I know from the bay that does designing, we reached out to him. It was dead on how I pictured it in my head. When I got it back, I said “this is flawless”, I don’t know he managed to like get inside my head.
Does your Mom still have Twitter? Does she see the mean and sometimes uncalled for comments? What does she think?
kreayshawn: I have to tell you like literally the most insane story that happened the other day. It makes no sense. She has a twitter, but I don’t @ her or anything, if I post a picture I just say “this is my mom”. Two night ago, the police called my mom like “is this Elka?!” and she like “What the fuck?” and hung up on them. So for whatever reason, she called back and the police say “We have reason to believe your daughter Natassia Zolot is committing suicide”. For the record, I was not committing suicide, I wake up in the morning from calls from my mom, my manager and everyone. Someone made a fake Kreayshawn account on Yelp.com and was writing suicide letters about how “I” was going to swallow a thousand pills, and Jesus and all this crazy shit. Someone called the police, who got in touch with my mom and my mom was like “I don’t know her address”. It was just crazy. I didn’t bother to even bring it up online or anything but he cops calling your mom house, that’s insane.
You were known for your videography before being signed. Have you directed anymore videos for other artists or want to do videos for people you’ve met since being signed?
kreayshawn: Yeah, I wanna do videos for hella people. People that I’ve gotten to know really well like Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller and them. Definitely do a video for Diplo. But, what I’ve personally learned is that when I’m distracted by things like working on the album or having to do shows, I don’t write the best treatments. I wrote the treatment for La La La and Breakfast but I feel like when I’m less stressed out, the best things come to me. I sometimes write treatments for videos before I even have a song and then use a treatment that matches up with the song.
Do you ever see yourself getting behind the boards, learning to make beats and becoming a producer?
kreayshawn: I used to play around on Garage Band back in the day. I used to make beats this computer program called Acid. Now things are so advanced that it’s not as easy to make a beat but I’m going to start making beats hella soon. Everyone is going to be hella mad at me cause I’ll be so raw.
Pre-order kreayshawn’s “Somethin About Kreay” album here.